In the wake of the groundbreaking documentary What The Health, 2017 was a year of radical change, food-wise. Not only have celebrities like Joaquin Phoenix, Anne Hathaway and more recently Will.i. am embraced a vegan diet but a growing number of restaurants and industries now offer plant-based options. Now that so many are turning towards a more compassionate way of eating they are likely finding they have heaps of energy and a newfound respect for the versatility of plants (cashew cheese, cashew milk and cashew vanilla cream? Sign me up!)

With such a palpable change there is no questioning that veganism is becoming increasingly mainstream every passing day. However, there is much more to the movement than a growing market for vegan products. The side-effects of going full-on compassionate are many and all of them contribute towards a healthier, happier and stronger you this starting year. Here’s why embracing a vegan diet is trending in 2018 and the changes that are revolutionizing the way we consume a plant-based diet:

Flower Power

Turns out ancient Greece had it right; flowers are not only meant to be used for flower crowns and bouquets… they can also add vibrancy and superfood power to your plate. Gorgeous specimens such as chamomile, lavender and rose are used as a perfect finishing touch to vinaigrettes and infused into drinks.

New waves of lavender and rose lattes are reaching coffee-shop shores and they sound absolutely delicious so keep an eye out for seasonal plates spiced up with the ultimate beauty and nutritional value of blossomed blooms.

floral flavors, pixabay

Floral flavours. Photo via Pixabay

Good Gut Food

Kombucha, tempeh, miso and coconut yoghurt are starting 2018 strong according to recent surveys on the vegan diet. Fermented foods are all the rage since people seek to increase their concentration and stamina by focusing on gut health.

The food industry is taking note and increasing the availability of gut-healing products at their supermarkets and menus. (Here in Ecuador there are three different types of dairy-free coconut yoghurt already and fermented almond cheese is starting to fly off the shelves!) These foods promote alertness and keep conditions like chronic fatigue at bay, so if you’re looking for an increase of serotonin (the happy hormone that is fabricated in the gut,) this is the year.

miso, Pixabay

Miso. Photo via Pixabay

The year of reinvented guiltless snacking

Gone are the days in which snacking as a vegan meant hunting for fruit at 7-Elevens and eating grapes off a cheese platter. 2018 will be the year of reinvented guiltless snacking as products like coconut jerky are making their way to the front shelves. Get ready to enjoy mindful potato chips (there’s a phrase I never thought I’d say!) up and coming mouthwatering vegan sandwiches and cookies that pack a plant-protein filled punch.

veggie-filled sandwich, Pixabay

Veggie-filled sandwich. Photo via Pixabay

Show You Care: For yourself and our animal friends

2018 promises to be a year full of self-growth. Giving-back and showing love is in, (it was never out in the first place!)  and veganism is a proven way of showing we care to all that surrounds us. The horrors of factory farming are not easy to stomach-both for our hearts and our bodies.

As it becomes increasingly obvious that we don’t need meat to survive but that it, in fact, can trigger horrible sickness in our bodies (The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified processed meat as a carcinogen, something that causes cancer. And it has classified red meat as a probable carcinogen, something that probably causes cancer. IARC is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization).vWe can no longer turn a blind eye towards the needless suffering of other creatures. Sir Paul McCartney’s words come to mind, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone should be a vegetarian.”

Compassion, Pixabay

Compassion. Photo  via Pixabay

The Rise of Vegan Cheese

Vegan Cheese is one of those things… once you try it you don’t want to go back! I have an overwhelmingly sweet-tooth myself but vegan cheese is the one thing I eat savoury food for. With its nutty silkiness and delectable earthiness, vegan cheese brings the game home.

Vegan cheese became increasingly common in recent years – I remember walking into Publix one day and noticing a gorgeous display of Kite Hill’s Cream Cheese Spread and Miyoko’s unbelievably creamy handcrafted cheese wheel and hearing angels sing- but 2018 promises to make vegan cheese the belle of the ball; companies like Vromage in L.A and Riverdel in New York have made it clear that the future of vegan cheese is brighter than the sun.

Vegan Cheese Spread, Pixabay

Vegan Cheese Spread. Photo via Pixabay

Be Energized All Day Every Day

A new year has just begun and I guarantee you everyone has one or two (or twenty) things they want to get done in the upcoming twelve months. Whatever your resolutions may be, veganism is sure to give you a zapping boost. A diet based on vegetables of all shapes and forms will naturally give you a whole lot of stamina and vitality. You’ll be waving goodbye to afternoon naps and steadily getting through your to-do list with no hassle involved.

Running, Pixabay

Boost Up Your Energy! Photo via Pixabay

Vegan Shopping Is A Thriving Movement

And it will make you thrive as well! The rise of products like vegan ice-cream, vegan cheese spreads and unbelievably tasty veggie burgers have catapulted a passionate demand for more products that please both the soul and the most demanding palate. There’s no longer a need to compromise-you can truly have it all!

In fact, 2018 will see the birth of Arizona’s first all-vegan grocery store, and all-vegan deli and food-markets like Orchard Grocer in New York are proving they are here to stay.

Vegan Groceries, Pixabay

Vegan Groceries. Photo via Pixabay

Experience The Hidden Gem That Is Vegan Cuisine

A detrimental aspect of embracing a vegan diet used to be going out with friends and family and having to settle for a sad-looking salad… the keyword is used. With the increasing demand for veganized menus, vegan cuisine has become more popular than ever before.

Forget about fancy butter sauces, there are mouthwatering superfood spreads and seaweed salads waiting for you! Vegan cuisine is becoming a distinct style of cooking, different from any other as it promises adventurous combinations of flavours that are also entirely guilt-free.

DC VegFest

Photo via DC VegFest/Compassion Over Killing.

We hope this helps you embrace a vegan diet with ease if you’re thinking about it.

Also Read:

10 Best Cities in America for Vegan Food

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